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10 foods you’ve probably never grilled before

You’ve uncovered youR grill for the season and have already eaten more chicken and burgers than you can count. You’ve even grilled some peppers and veggies as extra sides. But besides these basics, does the lack of diversity have you wondering what else can you make on the grill? Get the most out of your grill this summer by whipping up these unexpected recipes. 1. Mussels Cooking mussels might be the easiest item to cook in the history of grilling. Just heat up the grill and set the mussels onto of the grill to cook. You know they’re done when they open (about 5 to 10 minutes). Garnish with a bit of parsley and black pepper. Serve with melted butter. 2. Oysters Bring that vacation beach vibe to your backyard with grilled oysters. They take on a light, smoky flavor that’s sure to be your new favorite way of eating oysters.…

You might be storing your ice cream all wrong

It’s extra hot outside, but that doesn’t have to bother you — mostly because it’s the perfect excuse to enjoy an extra scoop of ice cream. (Is there really anything better than ice cream on a hot summer day?) But before you go and load your freezer full of pints of your favorite flavors, you may want to consider how you’re handling that frozen treat. Ice cream is a perishable product, and it needs to be treated with care. Whether ice cream lasts in your house a few days or a few months (who are these people?), you should pay attention to how you’re storing and handling it. Of course the easiest way to deal with ice cream is buying it and eating it in one sitting. (You may take this as your permission to do so — after all, food waste is a huge concern nowadays.) But, if you’re…

How to pick the perfect cantaloupe

Is there anything more disappointing in the world of food than getting home from the supermarket with a bunch of fresh produce only slice it open and find you’ve literally picked a bad apple… or pineapple.. or cantaloupe. Cantaloupe can be particularly tricky because they pretty much all look the same from the outside. So how do you tell what’s happening underneath that rough, tannish-grey skin? With a few tips you can actually get a pretty good idea. Here’s what you need to know: Buy only in season You just aren’t going to get the juicy, sweet cantaloupe you crave if you’re shopping in January. In the off season, cantaloupe are shipped from South America, meaning that by the time they make it to your mouth, they’ve been off the vine for quite some time. In the U.S., cantaloupe are at their peak from June until August. So if you’re…

10 Hydrating foods your summer diet needs now

Not drinking enough water is an all-too-common summertime woe. Combine beach boozing, outdoor activities, and a whole lot of sun, and you’re creating a recipe for splitting headaches and serious dehydration. When above average temperatures join the mix, not drinking enough water can be downright dangerous, leading to muscle cramps, low blood pressure, and even organ failure. But dehydration doesn’t have to spoil your summer fun. While water is always your best bet, there are many fresh summer foods that can give your body the extra boost of H2O it needs to make it through the day. Here are some of our favorites: Watermelon Biting into a big slice of juicy watermelon is so enjoyable, you’ll forget it’s good for you, too. Watermelon is 93% water, so it’s an ideal snack on a hot summer day or trip to the beach. Eat it alone, or blend it into a juice…

Caprese Summer Rolls are the newest must-have recipe for warm weather days

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Caprese Salad. The combination of ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, and soft mozzarella is a recipe that doesn’t need much improvement. But when you just can’t get enough of the Italian trio, it is fun to experiment with other ways to enjoy these classic ingredients. Welcome your first summer produce haul with these light and refreshing hand-held bits of sunshine. Roasting the tomatoes amps up their flavor and can make these spring rolls feel like more of a meal. Also, if you have trouble finding super thin rice noodles, you can always substitute with Romaine lettuce. The lettuce will nicely fill out the roll, soak up the dressing, and give your rolls a nice crunchy bite. If you’re new to working with rice paper, here are a few tips: Fill a pie pan with room temperature water. Soak wrappers briefly, one at a time. Moisten your…

7 steps to prep your grill for grilling season

You might have already packed away your sweaters and scarves, but before this summer can really heat up, you need to give your grill its annual checkup. It might not be the most exciting item on your upcoming schedule, but nothing can kill an outdoor dinner party faster than a broken grill. So for the sake of future fun, follow this advice to make sure your grill is ready for its Memorial Day debut and beyond. Also read, How to kick off grilling season with proper food safety. 1. Deep clean the grates. Little charred bits don’t add flavor — by now, it’s just dirt that can make you sick. Cleaning your grates regularly will prevent dangerous bacteria buildup, improve the taste of your food, and also reduce the risk of fire. Grill grates can be cleaned a variety of different ways, but to really start the season off right, consider…

Hamburgers vs hot dogs: which is healthier?

It’s almost the Fourth of July, and chances are you’re about to face the toughest choice of your summer: hot dog or hamburger? If you’re thinking “Both!” you’re in good company. But if you’re trying to make healthier choices this holiday, “both” probably shouldn’t be your response. Consider what a registered dietitian says about this age-old American debate. The Hot Dog Hot dogs typically have about 150 calories. Add a bun and some condiments, and you quickly hit about 300 calories — still a very reasonable amount of calories for a dinner entree. Their smaller size gives them a caloric advantage over the hamburger, but there are some disadvantages to hot dogs. Hot dogs have about 5 grams of saturated fat, which is pretty high for what you’re getting. They’re also packed with sodium (about 500 mg in contrast to 375 mg a burger might have) and sodium nitrites or nitrates, which may…

Patriotic thumbprint cookies

Where I’m from, thumbprint cookies seem to have a place every holiday get-together. For Christmas and Easter we roll them in nuts and make icing centers coordinate with the season. At Valentine’s Day, we make them chocolate. And now for Fourth of July we can dress them up with star sprinkles. These thumbprint cookies have a delicious sweet and tangy flavor. The vanilla and raspberry are perfect companions. And the red, white, blue sprinkles make them fun and ready for the Fourth! Patriotic thumbprint cookies Makes about 3 dozen cookies Ingredients 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour 2 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp salt 1 cup butter, room temperature 1 cup white sugar 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 egg white icing 1/4 cup sprinkles 1/8 cup raspberry jam Directions Line cookie sheet with aluminum foil and set aside. Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set…

Star spangled ice cream sandwiches

Ice cream sandwiches already scream summer, but with a little makeover, they can be the coolest Fourth of July treat at the table. Okay, this “recipe” is basically cheating. But if you want to add a little fun to your Fourth of July without any effort — literally, like zero effort — then you’ll love this simple trick. Buy a pack of ice cream sandwiches from the grocery store — or ice cream truck! I went for the mini sandwiches since there are always so many delicious treats at picnics. Smaller sizes mean you can sample more sweets. They also mean less mess, since they won’t have as much time to melt.  Pour some sprinkles in a bowl, and get rolling. Just like an ice cream cone with sprinkles, the extra taste and texture is delicious — and way more fun! Happy Fourth of July! Star spangled ice cream sandwiches Ingredients 1 dozen ice cream…

Festive fruit kabobs perfect for patriotic holidays

Some people can pull off elaborate cakes that look like perfect American flags. Those works of art are inspiring, but hardly practical. For the party host who wants to add patriotic flair to the table, without staying up too late the night before, here is a simple recipe solution. These fruit and pound cake kabobs make for a cute and tasty table-topper. Just wash some berries, cube your favorite white cake (vanilla cake, angel food cake, etc.) and skewer away! To make this even easier, I used a store-bought vanilla pound cake. You can also use blueberries and strawberries instead if you prefer. Happy summer holidays! American Flag fruit kabobs Makes 10 kabobs Ingredients Approx. 50 raspberries, washed and dried Approx. blackberries, washed and dried 10 long skewers 1 half loaf of poundcake or angel food cake, cut in 3/4″ cubes Directions Starting with a red raspberry, alternate red raspberries…